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Mark Nolan
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 5:23am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Life Support

... also Bareil 2.0 would have been unique*. Is he human? What makes someone human? He was born a human, he has a human body, he has his memories and personality, he can even father human children (with his human body).

* In the ST universe, and possibly in science fiction (certainly the popular franchises).
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Mark Nolan
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 4:59am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Life Support

"An alive (but robotic) Bareil would have been a decent way of handling his character going forward"

I agree. This would have been fascinating, and different from Data's journey (an android wanting to become more human).

Bareil 2.0 would be a human with his brain replaced with a positronic matrix (is he still human?) . Effectively a robot brain with a human body - as opposed to a human brain with a robot body (e.g. RoboCop). SciFi doesn't have many characters like this - I can't think of any.

Bareil 2.0 would have somehow had Bareil's memories and personality transferred, since that's what Bareil wanted in order to do whatever it takes to continue the peace treaty negotiations. It raises many questions, and it would be interesting to see how Bareil 2.0 navigates being thrown into Bareil 1.0s life. Bareil 2.0 could discover new things about himself, for example if his "software" (memories and personality) is now being run on superior hardware, what would that mean? Let's say he can think quicker, how will that affect the development of his personality, or his interactions with others. I think Bareil 2.0 could have been one of the most interesting characters in all of SciFi.
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Nolan
Sun, Jan 17, 2021, 4:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Generations

All that said, I just watched the originally shot "Christmas" sequence on the DVD and it was clunky as all heck. Picard's blindfold comes off and all his kids (including two that got cut) are standing there in front of him, oldest to youngest, arrayed like their taking a darned photograph and "Acting." Rene wasn't there and it was far more subdued, stiff and formal. If you thought the version in the film was saccharine, then this version was choking to death on it's "sweetness" Picard would not have pulled himself away from that Christmas, he have RUN.

The more chaotic, rambunctious version definitely rang truer and I think played into the mind set of Picard's head space at the time. "What if I had a family? What if I weren't a stick in the mud? What if I enjoyed being around kids? What if I could do everything different? Maybe I would be so grief stricken right now if *I* were different."

And apparently, during this and the reshoot for the final fight, Stewart was on another movie and had grown out his hair. So for portions of Generations he was fake bald... er. You'd think with an actor like Stewart, you wouldn't have to deal with changing hair styles, but not so I guess, haha.

It's no Super-stasche though. Lookin' at you, Justice League.
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Nolan
Sun, Jan 17, 2021, 6:41am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Generations

I myself watched Generations last week. I STILL think All Good Things isthe bigger, more climactic story that ties a bow on TNG better than this movie. But this film is richly themed, exploring the desires of both Catains and tying them together.

I think it's easy to forget WHY Kirk's Nexus fantasy ends up as it does, because there's a whole movie between when he enters the Nexus and Picard meeting him.

He goes from ringing in the Enterprise-B, feeling old and outdated, and yet struggling with the youthful inexperience of the ahem, Next generation of Starfleet officer, (no doubt the performance of the young captain emblematic of how fans fearedaTNG would go; a new younger crew, parroting Treknobabble while trying to emulate the example of the TOS crew) feeling reduced to giving empty soundbites for media outlets in what amounts to a tickertape parade, realizing his focus on his career lead him to this point and, for the moment, finding it empty. Meanwhile he finds out Sulu, a Captain like him, has found time for a family and has a living legacy while his is a young, inexperienced, unprepared captain sitting in the seat he gave up. And off to the Nexus he goes. To when he can take the last chance he had to avoid the life he ended up with and became personally disillusioned with.

Picard goes on a similar journey. His brother hada kid and he saw that as his chance to devote himself to the life of Starfleet. An escape from the pressure and responsability of family life. Besides, he hated kids. But as we know, he actually met his nephew and related to him a bit at a time when his faith in Starfleet life was shaken and he grew to be if not at ease with kids, then at least able to tolerate them. And then his nephew dies and he's hit by the loss of that potential and connection to his own youth and feels like maybe he cheated choosing Stargleet over family and feeling perhaps empty in the moment about the course of his life. And of course,I've been watching some first time reactions to early TNG where the viewers find Picard's surliness towards kids amusing so his hatred of kids at that point was fresh in my mind when I watched this again and so help me I cried. I was just hit by that man's journey from not wanting to deal with children to recognizing the joy and pride kids can bring and wanting to be swarmed by their hugs and appreciation. And happy to have it.

Both Captains find the thing that'll bring them joy from the despair of moment the Nexus took them. And were sorely tempted by that promise of family and happiness and in a way by the choice to be selfish. But both come to realize that's not who either of them are. They both chose the life of Stardleet, their career and the responsibility of self-sacrifice so that others could have the life they gave up. As nice as the Nexus was at giving them the happiness they needed, they knew they had to go back and sacrifice again. In Kirk's case, ultimately.

I think that's also why they only went back as far as they did. Because they had a job to do and they while they could cheat and change things to be more ideal that's not who either of them are. They are men who sacrifice for the mission and reject the temptation of the Nexus.

Also interesting is how when they first meet in the Nexus, their differences are subtly highlighted. Kirk, the outdoorsy, manly chef, Picard a bit more intellectually focused and a bit, dare-I-say, dainty. (You can almost see Kirk mentally rolling his eyes at how the legacy of the Enterprise captain turned out; "oh, great, here's another precocious young Enterprise Captain that doesn't know a thing.") But by the end of their time together it's been shown how similar they are too.

Something else that occured to me is how Generations acts as a bookends of sort to TOS, where a DIFFERENT Enterprise Captain became trapped in a place where he was temped by his fantasies and desires after becoming disillusioned with the Starfleet life but ultimately regected it all because it wasn't real and was just a prison. Just a Cage.

Sure, the movie lacked a big bombastic villain, was more introspective and quiet and the return & final battle of James T. Kirk lacked significant punch and some necessary pathos and it didn't really live up to the meeting of generations that it promised, but thematically it's a wonderful film that really digs into the characters and does a decent job compairing and contrasting the two lead men. Which is classic RDM. The Nexus I guess is classic Braga high concept idea.

When it works, it works, when it doesn't, it doesn't. I definitely appreciated it more than I have this ladt viewing, and I always liked it. But I think First Contact is still the better movie. It succeeded more at what it was trying to be while Generations is a _little_ scattered.
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Nolan
Thu, Jan 14, 2021, 5:16am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

Man, am I ever getting annoyed by fans of the morally darker New Star Treks pointing to this and "For the Uniform" as justifications via "whataboutism" for "Discovery," "Picard" and "Lower Decks"'s reprehensible moral codes. These were the EXCEPTIONS to for Sisko, while being the rule for those series.

Here is a whole EPISODE about Sisko reflecting on the damage he did and trying to come to an "ends justifying the means" reasoning, with his success in doing so VERY much in doubt. Characters in the new Trek don't even bat a friggin' eye at wanton murder.

As for "For the Uniform" there's a whole tizzy about chemical warefare on civilians. Admittedly, not a good look, but also ignoring complete situational context. That was a COLONY world. By it's very nature such a world would not have large numbers of infirm upon it because it's not a difficult supposition to make that only able-bodies and fit people would sign up for frontier colonization, given that it would likely entail large amounts of physically demanding work. That plus the fact there was ample evacuation time and a whole other planet close by to evacuate to, makes Sisko's decision to do this, while not a great action, not the murderous genocide some make it out to be.

And then there's the whole Dominion War. And if you need me to explain the difference between a period of sustained conflict against a singular enemy faction seeking to annihilate you with superior tech and numbers versus vaprizing every opponent in every hostile encounter, (when you have STUN settings no less) be it a gang of bounty hunters or an enemy vessel, then I really have to wonder what's wrong with you. Preferably we'd all want to do our best to avoid either, but the new Treks don't even try, or feel remorse. Not when they're too busy feeling fully justified for every murder because they tell themselves they have the moral high ground and were RIGHT. Pretty sure that thinking is what's lead to every religious conflict ever.

Can't wait for Kurtzman's new Trek series, Star Trek: Crusades, where the plucky, failed upwards captain who is brave enough to show their feelings at every oppertunity leaves the Alpha through Gamma Quadrents awash in the blood of those that refused to come around to the Federations dogmatic, moralistic way of thinking. It'll be a real barn-buster of an action romp thst promises to truely resonate with 4% of it's audience and pats them on the head dhile telling them how right THEY are. Gaw, I wouldn't put it past him, I really wouldn't.
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Nolan
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 5:47am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Peter Swinkels

Nice cherry-picking. However, as I was talking about Starfleet as an organization, it would follow that, a) personal screw ups such as a barroom brawl with significant personal consequences while not on assignment and without the risk of operational failiure does not fall under the umbrella of Starfleet's purview for disciplinary action to the extent of permenently damaging career advancement, and;

B) you're argument is to point out the examination of *one* incident in deference to my point about *consistent* screw-ups. Picard eludes to other potential loose threads, yes. But Tapestry was about personal choices affecting all areas of life, including professional development, but it was not, I should point out, about bad professional calls. You want episodes about that, then let's look at "Court Martial," obviously, "Pegasus," "Rules of Engagement," and "Change of Heart" all involving bad professional choices and the shadows they (potentially) cast over the career of their characters. That none of them are drummed out of Starfleet is due to the extent of their exempilary careers bolstering them through, although Worf still pretty much had his chances for captaincy blackballed. Kirk nearly lost the Enterprise for seeming to push. The. Wrong. Button. Fer crying outloud.

Personal screw ups that don't endanger the mission, the ship or the lives of the crew beyond your own? Yes, learning experience. *Professional* screw ups that infringe on any of those, require professional consequences. And any officer that has a track record of numerous professional failings would never sit in that chair. Especially without a stellar track record to prove growth or change and understanding of the awesome responsibility of command since the last failiure.
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Nolan
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 12:13am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I haven't been watching any of these shows since the end of "Picard" S1. That was MY third strike. Which is apparently not leinient enough for Kurtzman's Star Trek. So I'm just reading a bit of what happened this year.

What?!? They made her Captain?! Like, great for the first female black Captain protagonist, that's one Trek's been lacking. But couldn't they have gotten a non-awful character instead? Everything I've seen and read of Micheal Burnham has shown her to be an abject failure when it comes to Starfleet protocol. Prople have been barred from captaincy for less. Yet somehow she's failed upwards.

...

Failed upwards... OOHHH. It all makes sense now. Kurtzman is writing what he knows. The man has made a career of failing up into positions of power while doing sub-par, poor quality work that somehow taps into something that higher ups abitrarily deemed worthwhile and rewarded him for even if he didn't really deserve the honor. So of course that's how he think Starfleet command works. Lucking your way up the totem pole via incompetence until you gain a position of power where the judgement of others is beneath you, but who's critisizing because everyone *must* love you in order for you have to gotten to this point of control. Nevermind the string of failures and botched projects behind you. They don't matter so long as you give the important people with bureaucratic power what they want, nevermind if you're actually *capable* of doing the job.

No wonder it seems Kurtzman doesn't understand Trek. He doesn't. He doesn't understand a merit-based heirarchy where consistent, consecutive strings of successes and exemplarairy works are what will elevate you into higher positions. No, what he understands is that shallow appeals to the blinded by valued commodities of the decision-makers is what'll get you places. In his case, shallow appeals to money desired by studio execs. In Burnham's case shallow appeals to ideologies of the inncorrectly-viewed purely ideologically driven Starfleet (or what ever bs reason they promoted her) and in Discovery's case, shallow appeals to the ideologies of the fans it has.

Manipulative garbage. But I'm beginning to think not intentionally so. I don't think Kurtzman knows that that is not how the world realistically or ideally works for everyone else. No wonder every character he's written are vapid caracatures that succeed despite themselves. That's Kurtzman. It's also an incredibly narrow appeal, and I can see why it appeals to those who just wish all the hardships they faced would magically be solved after having to fight and strain against systems that seem to keep them down when the reality is that Starfleet, as originally designed, was a system where the excellent are rewarded and highlighted and the consistent screw ups drowned out, a system that is NOT for everybody, but that's okay, because the world of Star Trek doesn't hold that against anybody, but instead frees them to find the work they love and excel at with no cost to anybody or judgement from anyone.

Star Trek Discovery is made to appeal to the Norvo's, Richard Bashir's, Nikolai Rozhenko's and Alexander Rozhenko's of that world. Dreamers who haven't found their place, have vague awareness of what they want to do in life, but feel constrained by the workings of the society they find themselves in. If only they could fail their way to success. Just like Kurtzman's cleverly disguised self-insert character. You'd never tell it was him by looking at her!

At least I know why this all seems like fanfic by a barely comprehending fan of the source material. It is.

What a damn shame. Star Trek deserves better.
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Nolan
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 9:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

I had a slight revelation about this episode based on a rewatch of "Booby Trap." In that episode, when Geordie wants to add personality to the Brahms simulation he asks for a psych profile, which could be who knows how long out of date, thus representing a younger more carefree Brahms (perhaps based off her entry exam into Starfleet ala Wesley's entrance - which wouldn't account for either's personal growth over that time) but also, and more importantly, he asked the computer to model her persona off of _speaking appearances_ that she gave. By nature of speech giving, one adpots a certain performative persona in order to connect with the audience, and the back and forth repore she may have formed with an audience during a Q and A session. As such, by using these two flawed samplings, it's not suprising that reality doesn't match Geordie's fantasy, and despite some sketchiness in the way Geordie interacts with Brahms in these two episodes, I think both are really good explorations of a typical parasocial relationship.

The computer based Brahms off her public persona, NOT her entire one. Remember, people only post what they want you to see.
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Nolan
Tue, Nov 10, 2020, 12:08am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Encounter at Farpoint

@Gonzo

Presumably, when it comes to such things as liquids and other edibles, it's not so much the Holodeck, but replicators wired into the holodeck as well.
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Nolan
Thu, Nov 5, 2020, 5:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Timescape

@James G

The runabout is the main shuttlecraft of Deep Space Nine, which started airing concurrently with Season 6 of TNG after the "Chain of Command" two-parter. By this point we'd recognize it. Interestingly, this rear interior runabout set only appeared as the runabout in this episode, though in DS9 it was used for other things. Thoe cockpit, howrver is a mainstay on DS9.
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Nolan
Sat, Oct 24, 2020, 4:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Am I really reading that people are arguing that a character calling himself a conservationist and setting himself apart from the rest of his family who are all murderers as he doesn't murder SHORTLY AFTER AN ACTION SCENE WHERE HE VAPORIZES A NUMBER OF ACTUAL PEOPLE is anything other than bad writing? That viewing such a vast disparity in the words characters say versus the actions they take is just a matter of subjective opinion?

It'd be one thing if that was ever called out, but since this type of discontinuity of character has happened throughout these new shows, I don't think there's narrative purpose to it, it's just sloppy writing. And sure, people banged on about Janeway flip-flopping on her principles from episode to episode, but at the very least she tended not to say one thing, then do another within the SAME episode, at least not without deep reflection. At best this type of writing is Kurtzman calling out idealists who spout all the right words with none of the conviction of action behind them (thus drawing comparisons to Trump and his cult of personality), in a way, mocking all those flocking to his shows simply because he says the right words and spotlights the right things, thus misdirecting eyes away from the multitudes of various narrative sins he commits. At worst he just doesn't care at all and is using the Trek brand as a lisence to print money. (That is classic Cultural Studies vs. Political Economy schools of analysis) Calling Kurtzman an inept writer and creative head is really just the mid-point between those two extremes.

That Kurtzman doesn't see the point in inbuing the words of his scripts with anything more than in the moment emotional manipulation or backing them up with significant and likewise virtuous action leaves them as empty and hollow. Star Trek for 50 years was a cultural touchstone that inspired humanity onward. We wouldn't have cellphones as we know them without Trek. Astronauts and engineers and scientists would not've been inspired to pursue and excel in their fields if not for Star Trek. But now, for Kurtzman to inherit the awesome responsibility of carrying Trek onward into the 21st century, he has decided to focus on it, it would seem, as primarily a source of entertainment, full of cheap thrills and hollow platitudes that amount to unearned moments of gravitas that fall flat in face any sort of introspection. And to be fair, if that does you, and you enjoy it for that, then power to you. But for oh so many, Trek has been and could be so. Much. More. And it's for the future of Star Trek, and its power as a massive cultural touchstone that people are speaking out against it's current form. Trek is now laughing at those that still love it, and those that hate what it's become. I find that disgusting when really all I want is to love Star Trek again.

I should point out, Trek is not alone in having a vast disparity between the words characters speak and the actions they take, this seems to be a growing trend in hollywood. Take BvS for example, wherein Batman goes after Superman for all the wanton destruction Sups cause and the lives the Kryptonian ruined with his careless destruction while every action scene involving Batman in that film has Batman causing wanton destruction and carelessly ruining lives. And is that any part of the main conflict? No, it's Lex Luthor touching on none of this hypocracy, but instead masterminding the most convoluted plan imaginable to bring things to a head. Do these things entertain? Sure. But are they enriching the mind and soul? No, they do not hold up to much scrutiny, they weaken the motives of the characters and the motifs the work attempts to establish, muddying the message trying to be conveyed by that work. That is, most certainly, objectifiably bad writing.
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Nolan
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 1:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

@Tara, Peter G.

Regarding both the "weakening" of Kira and the length and narrative purpose of the pregnancy plotline, remember, those are both determined by the timetable and demands of the Kira actress' *real* pregnancy (With Bashir actor Siddig El Fadil's child!). Nana Visitor couldn't rush that along anymore than the writers, and it'd be pretty cruel to throw a pregnant woman into demanding action plots. I think they probably extended the pregnancy story past the birth of the actudl child given some later episodes, but given the context of real life behind the scenes, I don't begrudge Kira getting "lighter" fare here.
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Nolan
Tue, Sep 22, 2020, 4:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Statistical Probabilities

As a graduate of one of the lesser regarded social sciences, I am absolutely tickled that a discussion of the validity of said sciences has become a discussion of what the *word* science means. Meaning making and the interpretation of words and symbols among different perspectives being a rather big area of social sciences. Ha.

That's all, carry on.
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Nolan
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 6:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The First Duty

Sigh, the WRITER of "Measure of a Man," Melinda Snodgrass, didn't get royalties from the use of her character....
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Nolan
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 5:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The First Duty

But suprisingly NOT a deterrent to the use of Bruce Maddox in "Picard," who evidently did NOT see royalties from her characters use in the series.l, from what I hear. Just in case anyone needs another reason to dislike that show.
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Nolan
Sun, Sep 6, 2020, 1:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

Whewwwwwww.... man, I am nervous about making this post.

So I think in broad terms fans of nuTrek tend to lean farther Left, politically, than non-fans. Obviously there is more nuance once a closer look is taken and love/hate for nuTrek is not an accurate measure for political appeal. But, I think it can also be said that nuTrek leans towards appealing to Left-wing minded fans, at least as far as the dreaded social media is concerned

What I find interesting is that, in challenging someone whose friendship I value and who I otherwise respect, on their love about Discovery as they discussed their rewatch, I touched a nerve upon mentioning the blatant, casual war crime the "heroes" commit in this pilot - booby trapping fallen soldiers. Which is treated as a brilliant tactical masterstroke no less. The response I got was a gif of Sisko saying he can live with it. My arguement to that was that was a full episode reflecting on the ethical implications of a chain of decisions and actions, versus a five minute tactical discussion that didn't even broach the topic of how unethical they were being. The discussion was shut down after that and I didn't want to push it too much. But it got me thinking...

You know who else seem to be able to live with casual war crimes? Trump fans. And that just got me thinking about how nuTrekkers and Trump fans employ the same system of denial over the same types of problems that both nuTrek and Trump present.

Rambling incoherent narratives/speeches become: telling it like it is, "true to life," makes the audience emotionally react.

Refugees as dangerous agents: nuTrek ends up saying they are. Trump fans believe they are.

Minorities as drunks and druggies, coveting the rich first-world life, but countering this with token minorities in visible positions.

Turning on allies that need help and leaving them to fend for theselves. (But it's okay, they were going to betray us anyway)

Escaping justice because those are the actions of the designated good guys. "Sure they did wrong, but it worked, didn't it?"

And all those people who soke out against Picard in THAT show was remenicent of a certain disregard for the achievements of veterans...

I'm not crazy for seeing these similarities, am I? Are there more examples, or is this all just poor correlation on my part? If not, I'm astounded, no, perhaps just fascinated that two "fandoms" who seem to be so diametrically opposed, could employ the same systems of denial over the same actions, character and consequences of their fan object, while at the sametime for some, decrying the behavour and cultishness of the other.

But in the end, to my eyes, nuTrek acts like the worst offending actions of that president are good heroic deeds, doesn't discuss or examine that fact (likely isn't even aware of it to be fair) and that hypocracy is just another reason I can't stand behind it.
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Nolan
Mon, Aug 31, 2020, 9:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Charlie X

You're post contains some... interesting rhetoric, first compairing Charlie to Gen Z, as you see similarities to you're own kids, then you blame the parenting for Charlue's behaviour... which seems to indicate you blame parenting for the current generations behavour, which includes your own kids... so you... blame yourself for how your kids turned out? I don't think you meant to imply that.

I also think you've avoided the fact that pretty much ALL teenagers are enititled brats who want things done NOW without putting hard work in from time-to-time, as well as the fact that Social Media and an increasing online life gives these teenage hormonal developing voices more airtime and more like-minded people to share and spread their views.

I'd also like to point out that this is probably the only site where users can say "Okay boomer" without it being a generational backtalk thanks to a certain prolific poster. Haha.
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Nolan
Sun, Aug 23, 2020, 2:50am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: The Enterprise Incident

@Kiwi

Counterpoint, (and this is with the proviso that I haven't seen this episode in a while - it's coming up on my rewatch with my friend) but that the Romulan Commander is so much like him, and yet as a Romulan, freer to experience her emotions than he is, might very well be the reason Spock does feel he can open up to her. If he felt a strong connection with her, and also potentially felt himself look up to her for being allowed to indulge her emotions he may have in a way felt himself capable of opening up to her in a way he had never done so with anyone in his life.

It's not that she's more important than the other people in Spock's life are, just that, as someone who a) is a reflection of himself and b) isn't one of those people for whom his reputation is important enough to maintain, he might have just felt safe enough and comfortable enough to let his walls down, more than he would in front of his shipmates or his parents.

I feel that the romulan Commander represented a place where he could truly be comfortable with himself. Not some half-human weirdo among Vulcans, or an overly stoic Vulcan among humans. She was a place where he could fully be himself without worry, at least for a time, and I bet he appreciated that.
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Nolan
Sat, Aug 15, 2020, 1:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Tommy D.

Only June? Sheesh, this pandemic has me in a time warp. "Going by the book, minutes would seem like hours, hours would seem like days..." and Days would seem like months apparently.
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Nolan
Sat, Aug 15, 2020, 2:57am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

One reason I don't totally buy that there was no time for international distribution deals is that here in Canada, our Sci-fi channel snapped up broadcasting rights *months* ago, possibly even last year. And they seemed to not have *any* trouble with moving the premiere dates up. (Although, the channel is mostly reruns and movies at this point) And then slapping Disco S3 right after with the tag line "23 continual weeks of Trek!" to my comms grad ears like typical PR manuvering of either, "It's not a bug, it's a feature!" or an attempt to look more productive/successful than they are. I'm getting a very much "sunk costs fallacy" vibe from Trek right now. There's also the obvious hope in that marketing strategy for continued engagement and subscriber numbers on All Access, rather than the likely peaks and valleys of people subscribing for Trek then cancelling.
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Nolan
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 2:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

Personally I can't stand this episode because Alixus' voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me. It's got this really strong wavering/warble-y aspect to it that makes me actually cringe - and not in that meaningless meme way either.

She sounds like she's constantly on the verge of tears, ready to give in to anxiety like a child in the process of being scolded, yet her character is an unopposed (by her community) strong-willed and confident leader of people, who has convinced people to follow her into hardship - yet her voice doesn't carry ANY of that. So in one aspect I don't buy what the episode tells me about her because of her vocal performance, but on a far more viseral level I don't like this episode because her voice makes me want to rip my ears off. Haha.
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Nolan
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 4:52am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Yeah, I thought us Classic Trek Only fans were supposed to be the entitled, never pleased, angry and rude crowd. While the nuTrek fans were accepting, always pleased and understanding? What the heck guys, don't assign us a broad stereotyped view and then walk all over the turf you just gave us. I mean geez. Pick a lane.

Jammer's had a busy life since before the Kelvin movies. This is a HOBBY for him, one that he finds hard to make time for. It's his choice and his site. Ya can't bully him (yes, bully) into reviewing the show you like because "but it has Star Trek in the title." That's not how the world works. Just because something is labelled a certain way does not make it worthy, worthwhile, or good. It has to have the credentials and have done the work to back that label up. Plenty obviously think that Lower Decks, and even nuTrek as a whole, doesn't have much behind it's label.
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Nolan
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 2:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Booming

You probably know this, but the term you're looking for is "astroturfing."

Per Merriam Webster:
"organized activity that is intended to create a false impression of a widespread, spontaneously arising, grassroots movement in support of or in opposition to something (such as a political policy) but that is in reality initiated and controlled by a concealed group or organization (such as a corporation)

Classic astroturfing is the practice of disguising an orchestrated campaign as a spontaneous upwelling of public opinion. … The term itself appears to have been coined in 1985 by then Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen, who noted that the mountains of letters he received about legislation on insurance originated with insurers. — New Scientist, 10 Feb. 2007

The modern form of astroturfing uses the Internet, and corporations, religious groups with a social agenda, and public interest groups can flood an in-box in an hour with e-mails that may come from a single source using many accounts.— Alan Boraas, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Apr. 2009"

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/astroturfing

Now, I'm not necessarily saying anyone is being a part of this here... but it's an observed, recorded phenomenon (there are several cited examples on wikipedia if anyone is so inclined to look) and therefore isn't out of the realm of possibility that it's occuring within Trek fandom.
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Nolan
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 10:45am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Guiding Light

... I'm only THIRTY. And old Trek captured my mind just fine when I was 13. It didn't have to be "made for me."

And frankly, I find a strict adherence to "relatability" to be something too many shows try and fail at. Sure, I DID relate to Geordi because he also had vision problems, but that was it, so it obviously plays a role, but it's not the be all end all. Geordi didn't encounter the same issues as me, and he didn't behave like me. He was better than me. He was an ASPIRATIONAL figure. He showed me who I could be. Who I should strive to be. And he did that by NOT coming down to my level. The same is true for every Trek character of that era. Trek was ALWAYS about striving to be better, not just accepting youself and being fine with it.

And old Trek was also quirky, vibrant, diverse and fun... Check out TOS's "I, Mudd" for all that in abundance. It's a comedy episode too.

You also clearly skimmed my comment, as you would have noted my assertion and critical opinion that the writing of the current shows LACK quality. Need I point out the jumbled writing of Picard's plot, the inability to successfully juggle all it's sub-plots and dropping many of them, the weak character motivations, the unearned emotional beats that are only momentary and carry no thematic weight, and rather obvious and transparent narrative cheats. So we obviously disagree on this fundamental point.

And frankly "recognized by wider audiences?" You mean the audience made up of pay-to-view streaming service subscribers? Who wouldn't be paying unless they already wanted to watch the shows? There's plenty out there that still don't give a toss about Star Trek, and no amount of genre bent shows are gonna bring them in. As for those that ARE interested, they're already invested in geek culture and would've likely ended up checking out the old shows eventually anyway, and would've gotten a better sense of what Trek was about. The only impetus they have to check Trek out now is because there is new stuff being advertised, grabbing people's attention and the producers didn't need to change what Trek was to do that. But that would've been harder than just doing their own thing and slapping the Trek brand on it, so they didn't.

And of couse, we don't know about viewing figure numbers because streaming services don't release that info publically, so you're "fraction of the 'old gaurd'" assertion is as likely a result of your filter bubble and echo chamber (real academic terms, FYI) as my saying that hardly anyone likes these shows would be.

What WOULD be nice, is if they shoved all this new stuff into its' own continuity, kept making it, then got someone else in to make a more true to Trek show that better represented the values of Trek. There'd probably be a lot less inter fandom bitching that way.
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Nolan
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 9:43am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Well, since Star Trek has given up entertaining me with new material, I've gone and had some fun with the old stuff:

Worf: Tell me what you think.

Dax: Okay, but you're not going to like it.

W: Tell me.

D: I think this situation with [Lower Decks] is a symptom of a bigger problem. [StarTrek] is dying. And I think it deserves to die.

W: You are right. I do not like it.

D: Don't get me wrong, I'm very touched that you still consider me a [trekkie], but... I tend to look at the [franchise] with a little more skepticism [...]. I see a [franchise] that is in deep denial about itself. We're talking about a [sci-fi series] that prides itself on maintaining [decades]-old traditions of [optimism, betterment, equality, thoughtfulness] and integrity. But in reality, it's willing to accept [nihilism and greed] at the highest levels.

W: You are over stating your case.

D: Am I? Who was the last [showrunner] that you respected? Has there even been one? And how many times have you had to [ignore the undercutting of Trekkian principles, meaningless violence and reductive, tawdry & shallow writing in new shows] because you were told it was for the good of the [franchise]? I... I know this sounds harsh, but the truth is, you have been willing to accept [series] that you know are [of mediocre quality]. [Lower Decks] is just the latest example. [Trek fans], you are the most [passionate, thoughtful, intelligent, caring, optimistic and hopeful people] that I've met. And if YOU'RE willing To tolerate [shows] like [Lower Decks, Picard and Discovery], then what hope is there for the [franchise]?

To be honest, that exchange has been ringing in my head since mid- season 2 of Discovery. Alas, how sad Ezri's speech in "Tacking into the Wind" has become a metaphor of the franchise itself... ah well, at least it made me chuckle while writing it... and then practically cry at it's accuracy once I finished.

Also, here we again have new Star Trek showing how diverse it can be and yet again making the female black woman protagonist a purposely annoying screw up who mocks people with aspirations, and only got where she is through nepotism and not because she's smart, determined or driven, which frankly is not really a great role model for anybody. New Trek is 0 for 3 here.

Do you guys realize that there hasn't been a Trek since Enterprise where one of the main characters wasn't just HANDED authority despite having hardly any merit? (And though I AM an Enterprise fan, Archer has shades of nepotism as well) Despite previous series showing just how incredibly hard it was to even get into Starfleet Academy?

I'm so sick of having to hear the people in charge of this franchise talk about how great it is when the truth is, this is just s paycheck for them, and they end up writing shows that have the veneer of Trek but ultimately that sheen only goes as deep as shallow references and mere lipservice to the values Trek used to espouse, while in reality ignoring all of them, and often doing the opposite. Add on top the covoluted and nonsensical writing and I just find myself absolutely bewilder that people actually LIKE this stuff. I mean, more power to ya, but I just don't understand as I don't see any quality in these entries to the franchise, either as Trek series or even as shows. (Although I admit, if Lower Decks wasn't associated with Trek, and therefore what Trek used to be, it may be passible - Futurama IS one of my favorite shows, and that DEFINITELY has that Trek parody DNA in it, so I'm not adverse to the concept - so long as it doesn't undercut the meaning of Trek.)

As it is, Ezri is right, Trek is dying. It gave up what made it strong and significant, and sure it may have entered an era of remarkable expansion, but without the core tenents that have guided Trek for 50 years, that expansion is untenable in the long term, and I fear the franchise will crumble quickly.
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